The total proposed budget for the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) for 2021 is P23.42-billion, roughly P4.37-billion (22.91%) higher than this year’s appropriations. It is a salary-driven budget, with, almost 80% allocated to Personnel Services.

With the number of teachers, learners, and personnel under the auspices of the ministry, the budget must reflect changes in learning approaches following social-distancing measures due to Covid-19. The ministry must look into the number of learners that were not able to enroll this school year to the pandemic and come up with a plan to reach out and get them back in school. It must also survey the learning scheme students in the Bangsamoro are comfortable with, if only to ensure relative ease of learning despite Covid-19.

Some of the performance indicators that were outlined in the MBHTE budget need to be explained, such as targeting only 60% of 160,000 enrolled public school students who were identified as beneficiaries, leaving the fate of 64,000 in uncertainty. Dental services are expected to be provided only to 20% of schools, while the ministry aims to increase the NAT performance ratings of only 30% of schools.

For the most part, schools have been adapting to the needs of both teachers and learners. The MBHTE budget for next year will ideally provide much-needed support for all stakeholders, while also funding new and relevant strategies that address the pandemic and its effects.

Almost all of the MBHTE’s programs were granted additional funding except for the Management and Supervision of Field Operations which sustained a cut of about P7-billion (12.84%), and the Computerization Program which is set to receive no appropriation at all for 2021. The ministry is expected to present a progress report regarding the program’s implementation for last year.

The PS and MOOE components of the Management Support to Education Programs item grew by about P1-billion each, while the Bangsamoro Education Program’s increases were found almost exclusively in its MOOE. 

It is still unclear if the School-Based Feeding Program and School Dental Health Program fell under the Bangsamoro Education Program. will be retained for this year. Should these programs continue, the implementation of said programs must clearly adapt to the “new normal,” given the remote learning setup for the school year. The same could be said about the new Bangsamoro School Sports Program, with a budget of P26.85M, entirely classified as MOOE.

This series of infographics is the third installment of the #BARMMBudgetWatch initiative of the Office of the Minority Floor Leader.